Home invasion victim lives in fear - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Home invasion victim lives in fear

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Ten months after a brutal attack in her home, an Albany senior citizen still worries about her safety.

85-year old Ester Eckstein was simply trying to help a man who came to her door asking for food when he attacked her. She's recovered physically, but still has emotional scars.

Many of you know Ester Eckstein. She worked as a crossing guard for 25 years and is the aunt of former Sheriff Jamil Saba. Eckstein loved to help people, but after that terrifying attack, she is too scared ever to return to her home.  

Ester Eckstein has to walk with a cane, but has made a remarkable recovery after the February 3rd attack. A man she had helped a couple of times was asking for food.

"I've always been one of those soft hearted idiots that always wanted to help somebody. But I've learned my lesson."

She left her door unlocked while she went to the kitchen. "When I was walking back out of the kitchen into the living room, he was already in my living room."

The attacker broke Eckstein's pelvis and choked her, then tried to steal her rings.

Eckstein went through a long therapy to be able to walk again, and still has soreness in her throat where he choked her. Friends and neighbors helped Investigators arrest 39 year old Cedric Parker, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison. But Eckstein has never been back inside her home of 53 years, and still has issues with fear

"Now when I go to sleep and I hear a little noise, I jump up. It's making me a nervous wreck."

Eckstein came to the WALB Newsroom to do this interview because she doesn't want anyone to know where she lives now. She warns other senior citizens that they have to protect themselves.

"Please don't open the door to nobody," Eckstein said. "Even if they have little kids with you. Don't open the door. They've got plenty of places that people can go get something to eat."

Eckstein says most friends her age tell her they are scared by crime in Albany, and don't go out alone, frightened they could become crime victims as well.

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